Thursday, June 30, 2022


Paulette Goddard is Jezebel in SINS OF JEZEBEL (1953)

One of the stories from the bible which, imo, should have a big budget treatment. This movie had a low budget and doesn't do the quasi-epic story of Jezebel vs Elijah justice. George Nader (not pictured) plays Jehu and the romance aspects of the story is pure fiction, which is fine, but it hardly reflects what's in the bible. Finding a decent copy of this or even publicity stills are hard to get.


Cecil B. DeMille shows Victor Mature and Hedy Lamarr how to do a scene on the set of SAMSON AND DELILAH (1949)

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

HD Alert!

Victor Mature is HANNIBAL (1959)

It seems an English HD copy of HANNIBAL has been available on and someone made a webrip of it and has been available from certain download sites. Will this be the next Kino Lorber Blu-ray release? There's a Japanese Blu-ray and it's most likely the same print Amazon has for the Prime customers.

Vintage Article

German article on Steve Reeves. It includes an interview with Steve. 'The immortal Steve Reeves.'

Monday, June 27, 2022


Giulio Brogi as Aeneas in AENEID (1971) 

An Italian TV mini-series directed by Franco Rossi, who also directed the epic TV mini-series THE ODYSSEY (1968). Aeneas is legendary in Italian culture so a mini-series on him was an obvious choice but the famous survivor of Troy is not as famous elsewhere in the world. Like THE ODYSSEY, this mini-series is very elaborate and epic but a decidedly more late 1960s - early 1970s psychedelic style. The only familiar PEPLUM face in it, well at least to me, is Marilù Tolo. The number of episode varies: IMDB says 6 but lists 7. I have the series in French, which has 6 episodes while the German one has 4 episodes. Franco also directed other mini-series, including QUO VADIS? (1985) and A CHILD NAMED JESUS (1990).

PEPLUM Movie Posters

Original Italian poster of WAR GODS OF BABYLON (1962)

Great poster. Excellent portrait of Howard Duff. The Italian title translates as THE SEVEN LIGHTNINGS OF ASSUR. 

Friday, June 24, 2022

Image of the week!

Nippur (Gordon Scott) battles evil ruler Balthazar (Piero lulli) to the death in HERO OF BABYLON (1963)

VHS covers

Greek VHS cover of THE REVOLT OF THE PRAETORIANS (1964) starring Richard Harrison and Giuliano Gemma. From Google translate, the title translates as THE LAST ARE THE SLAVES. 


Thursday, June 23, 2022


 Rossana Podesta and Mario Petri are 'barbarian Gauls' in SLAVE OF ROME (1961)

This is one of those movies which, this scene aside, was shot almost entirely outdoors. I like it. It's very entertaining and it's original. Opera singer Petri plays the bad guy pretty well and he's quite impressive. Podesta becomes the 'slave of rome.' Where's the high definition print of this? 


A casually dressed Charlton Heston presumably gives Yul Brynner a good luck handshake on the set of THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (1956)

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Clip of the week: ATLAS IN THE LAND OF THE CYCLOPS (1961)

Maciste (Gordon Mitchell) shows his prowess by saving Queen Capys (Chelo Alonso) in ATLAS IN THE LAND OF THE CYCLOPS (1961)


Tuesday, June 21, 2022


Opening sequence from THE LAST LEGION (2007)

A sort of homage to THE COLOSSUS OF RHODES (1961). The first starts with this scene after the introductory narration and opening credits. It's CGI, of course. The movie itself is not a CGI filled one, like so many out there. How does it compare to special effects made with actual models or practical effects?

Then & Now: Patrick Wayne

Patrick in SINBAD AND THE EYE OF THE TIGER (1977); a recent photo of Mr. Wayne.

Monday, June 20, 2022


Riad (Elio Jotta) has placed Maciste (Reg Park) in some golden cage for a 'feat of strength' challenge in MACISTE IN KING SOLOMON'S MINES (1964)

I always wonder: did this golden cage exist before or as it built specifically for this attempt to torture him to death? It seems quite elaborate for something they would use that one time. So, if it was already built how did they use it on normal men? Unlike Maciste, an ordinary man wouldn't last 2 seconds in this feat of strength.

PEPLUM Movie Poster


One of many rare English posters of Italian PEPLUM movies released in the UK. Where are these prints? I doubt the opening credits were in Italian so were are the old UK prints of these movies? Same thing could be said with US releases. I've never seen a movie memorabilia of this title from the US and yet it was apparently released to theatres. Another example of how neglected this genre is.

Friday, June 17, 2022

Image of the week!

Phillipides (Steve Reeves) and Andromeda (Mylène Demongeot) hold on to each other after a big battle in THE GIANT OF MARATHON (1959)

Lobby Cards Set: THE SILVER CHALICE (1954)

Italian lobby cards set (photobusta) of THE SILVER CHALICE (1954), called Il Calice D'Argento, starring Paul Newman, Jack Palance, Virginia Mayo and more. This shows that Italian lobby cards can be as bad as those from the US. The garish colours do not do the movie justice. Nice selection of photos. They're almost identical to the selection of scenes for the US lobby cards set.

Thursday, June 16, 2022


Pietro Torrisi in THE THRONE OF FIRE (1983)

The gong Pietro is standing next to probably appeared in more PEPLUM movies than any other prop, aside from the cauldron one. It was used for over twenty years, as early as HERCULES AND THE CAPTIVE WOMEN (1961). Always try to spot it when it makes an appearance. 


Charlton Heston and Stephen Boyd on the set of the chariot scene from BEN-HUR (1959)

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Clip of the week: SAMSON AND THE 7 MIRACLES OF THE WORLD (1961)

Gordon Scott, as Samson (US) or Maciste (Italy), does his own stunts in this spectacular scene.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

HD Alert!

You can pre-order the SAMSON AND THE 7 MIRACLES OF THE WORLD (1961) Blu-ray at Amazon. It includes both the International 98-minute cut and the 76-minute AIP US cut!

Below is an alternate cover. The main artwork, of Gordon Scott fighting, was taken from GOLIATH AND THE VAMPIRES (1961).

Can't wait for this.


Then & Now: Angela Lansbury

 Angela in SAMSON & DELILAH (1949); a recent photo of the actress

Monday, June 13, 2022


Hyperbius (Riccardo Garrone) tries to woo Sappho (Tina Louise) in SAPPHO THE VENUS OF LESBOS (1960; aka The Warrior Empress)

The only versions available for this movie are the US TV broadcast in 4:3 aspect ratio. And a battered and poor widescreen version from France. It's odd that this movie has never been shown in Italy or somewhere else from Europe. One day it will be shown in a beautiful print but for now that's all I have for one of my favourite PEPLUM movies. Directed by Pietro Francisci, who also directed HERCULES (1958).

PEPLUM Movie Poster


This British poster featured Vicki Trickett more than Hercules or Samson Burke. Great title design but the poster itself is fairly ordinary.

Friday, June 10, 2022

Image of the week!

Metal bars are no match against Glaucus (Steve Reeves) and his will to survive in THE LAST DAYS OF POMPEII (1959)

At the movies...

SWORD OF THE CONQUEROR (1961) playing at the GEM theatre in Salt Lake City. I never thought I'd see a photo of this movie playing at a cinema in the US. 

Thursday, June 9, 2022


Wandisa Guida and Gina Rovere in VENGEANCE OF URSUS (1961) 

I always wondered what had happened to Wandisa. She had a substantial acting career and then she vanished from the face of the earth. She made 35 movies in roughly 10 years, a dozen of which were PEPLUM movies. She was always good in every role, no matter the quality of the movie itself. She's definitely one of my favourite PEPLUM actresses. Where are you? Anyway, this is a fun film with an undeservebly 'bad' reputation. When you see it in widescreen and beautiful colours, the movie is pure PEPLUM fun.


Gordon Scott and Rocco Vitolazz in preparation for a scene on the set of GOLIATH AND THE VAMPIRES

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Clip of the week: HERCULES AGAINST MOLOCH (1963)

Gordon Scott climbs up the walls in HERCULES AGAINST MOLOCH. Cool scene.

Tuesday, June 7, 2022


The Colossus from THE COLOSSUS OF RHODES (1961) 

THE COLOSSUS OF RHODES utilized a panoply of special effects and image trickery and big practical effects to bring the Colossus to life.

Above: standard model of the statue. The model was used for complicated shots that would have been too difficult to recreate with full scale effects. For example, in this scene, fire is released from the cauldron. 


In this scene, we see actors walking on the statue which means this was a full size replica of the statue. There are plenty of 'behind the scenes' photos of this big statue.

In this scene, Rory Calhoun walks in the foreground with the statue in the background. The statue was composed of two parts: bottom part was a full scale replica while the top half, the part which Rory's head didn't cross, is either a matte painting or a model to scale. Notice the reflection in the water. We see the legs reflected but they placed a barrel to hide the fact that there's nothing beyond the legs. 

In this shot, we see the full scale feet of the statue in the background, giving this incidental scene a lot of realism.

Vintage Article

French magazine article on the career of Steve Reeves. The movies pictured here are HERCULES UNCHAINED (1959, above top) with Sylvia Lopez. SANDOKAN THE GREAT (1963, above). Below: THIEF OF BAGHDAD (1961); THE LAST DAYS OF POMPEII (1959) with Christine Kaufmann. THE WHITE WARRIOR (1959); GOLIATH AND THE BARBARIANS (1959); MORGAN THE PIRATE (1960) and SANDOKAN - PIRATE OF MALAYSIA (1964).

Monday, June 6, 2022


Ed Fury, as Ursus, tries to survive a bunch of ravenous hyenas in URSUS IN THE VALLEY OF THE LIONS (1961)

One of three Ursus movies Ed starred in. I like all of Ed's Ursus movies. They are real PEPLUM movies. The costume he wears in this scene (and for most of the movie's last half) was re-used in other movies. I believe the hyenas in this scene is also a first in a PEPLUM movie. I can't recall seeing hyenas in any other movie preceding this one. These URSUS movie were incredibly elaborate productions for their modest budgets. The US TV version of this is simply known as VALLEY OF THE LIONS.

PEPLUM Movie Poster


A reminder that Kino Lorber will be releasing this movie on Blu-ray in August.

As for the 'miracles' touted on the poster, I wonder what the 7 miracles are supposed to be. According to the poster, the 7 "miracles" are:

The man made earthquake (ok, that's one)

The chariot of death (huh? that's a miracle?)

The rock of freedom (?)

The tree of mystery (?)

The bell of truth (in the film the bell is called the bell of freedom)

The golden tiger (there's a tiger but just your average tiger)

The living dead (there were living dead in it?)

Testing new video platform

Since Youtube is too problematic to use I've been trying out different platforms. Here's one, Rumble. Personally speaking, their interface is terrible. And I don't know if I can upload full movies without any restrictions. I don't know if I'll be using this website again. I'm just testing it. I uploaded a fight from MESSALINA (1960). Any feedback is welcome.

Friday, June 3, 2022

Image of the week!

King Sardanapalo (Howard Duff) crowns his brother Prince Shammash (Luciano Marin) King of Babylon, while Mirra (Jackie Lane) and Ammurabi (Stelio Candelli) watches on in WAR GODS OF BABYLON (1962)

VHS covers

German VHS cover of THE LION OF THEBES (1964). Great cover. No 'Cinematic Confusion' here. 

Thursday, June 2, 2022


Alessandro Panaro and Mike Lane, as Hercules, in ULYSSES AGAINST HERCULES (1962)

Without a doubt, Mike Lane is the tallest actor who played Hercules. At 6'8", he surpassed the other tall actors like Peter Lupus, Dan Vadis and Ken Clark. Steve Reeves was 6'1" so not short but would look short next to Lane, who was a professional wrestler before entering the world of movies and TV. He starred in VALLEY OF THE DRAGONS (1961) and was dressed and looked like Hercules in it. Producers of this movie must have seen it and were inspired by it. 

His height caused a problem: his costumes needed a lot of fabric and the more fabric he wore, the more his costumes looked like dresses. His costume here is more flowing than Alessandra's dress. It makes him look a bit goofy not sharp. Alessandra must have had a sore neck after staring at him. She's one of my favourites actress of the PEPLUM genre. She was excellent in THE BACCHANTES (1961).

I have so many copies of this movie, including one in HD but the HD is not true HD from a new transfer. One day it will be available in true HD and it will be amazing. It was shot in the Canary Islands and that alone makes it worth watching. It's one of my favourites. 


Arnold Schwarzenegger on the set of CONAN THE DESTROYER (1984), in the Hall of Mirrors scene

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Clip of the week: TRIUMPH OF MACISTE (1961)

Maciste (Kirk Morris) tries to survive a deadly trap in TRIUMPH OF MACISTE 

Blog note

Well, this experiment lasted one week. Starting today, I'm going back to the old format.

People are royally confused by the new format of the blog. Even though individual posts have done better, over twice the views, from the old format, overall people seem confused by it. And even though the new format has more posts than the previous format (11 posts new format vs 9 posts old format), it seems the previous format, with less posts, was less confusing.

This is the problem I've had since the beginning of the blog: new posts bump the older ones from the first page and, unfortunately, 95% of visitors do not go beyond the first page which means the posts bumped off the main page are not being read. And this blog has **12 years worth** of material beyond the main page (see Blog archive on the left menu). So, the longer the content stays on the first page the less confusing it is. People prefer less material. Go figure.


There'll still be some changes to the blog. I'll be ditching the 'By The Gods!' name for daily posts and call them 'Musings!' The big MUSINGS! post I published twice a month (above) will be history. I absolutely loved doing these fun and informative posts but as is often the case the reaction here was mostly 'meh'! I worked hard on the MUSINGS! posts, collecting stuff for weeks but the feedback (or lack of feedback) was underwhelming. Instead of having multiple topics under one MUSINGS! (Cinematic Confusion, Recent Acquisitions, etc), I'll spread them out as daily Musings! or as individual posts.

Speaking of 12 years worth of stuff, I'll be revisiting older posts as well. Everything should be more clear in the upcoming weeks.